Carolyne Kauser-AbbottExploreGuided Holiday Tours

Enjoy the Festive Season and Tour Provence this December

Provence is magical during the holiday season, and December is a wonderful time to visit the South of France. 

The festivities begin in mid-November, running right through early January. The sparkling, festive ambience of Europe’s Christmas markets is legendary. The Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik is one of the largest in France, with 2+ million visitors attending during the month-long market. Although smaller than Strasbourg, the holiday markets in Provence are equally joyful.

Festive Holidays in France Tour Provence this December

©Alpilles en Provence

Provence in December

In December, the weather in Provence is warmer than in northern France, and the holiday events in the south deliver plenty of seasonal flair and gourmet temptations. Provencal holiday traditions are deeply rooted and tied to religion and food. Holiday markets dazzle with sparkling white lights while clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise perfume the air. Marketgoers gather over a glass (or two) of vin chaud, enjoying the festive season with animated discussion and hearty laughs.

Martine of Goût et Voyage is booking spots on her Provence for the Holidays tour that runs December 11 – 17th (see details below). Spend a week exploring the region is the pre-Christmas period on this fully escorted tour. A “Taste of Provence for the Holidays” – promises a delightful combination of seasonal shopping, gastronomic discoveries, and an introduction to the region’s cultural traditions.

Midnight mass in St Remy de Provence

Midnight mass in St Remy ©Alpilles en Provence

What to Expect?

Provence warms the heart every season, and winter is no exception. A Taste of Provence for the Holidays includes many of the same highlights from the Goût et Voyage regular tours; cultural visits, gourmet meals, cooking classes and wine tasting. Goût et Voyage guests stay in a charming boutique hotel in St Remy de Provence. From arrival at the Avignon TGV station to the return a week later, everything is included and expertly coordinated by Martine.

Enjoy hands-on cooking classes and delicious results, including hardier Provencal dishes such as bouillabaisse, beef daube, and pintade farcie (stuffed guinea hen with foie gras). You will also learn about the traditional 13 desserts of Christmas in Provence, including sweet and savoury versions of fougasse.

Bûche de Noël Christmas

©Chef François de Melogue

Provence Holidays and Traditions

The group will visit the Marché de Noël in beautiful Aix-en-Provence, where the market stands inside small wooden cabins that line the famous Cours Mirabeau. Walk in the footsteps of painter Paul Cézanne who lived in Aix and painted many of his brilliant canvases in the countryside. The markets in Provence are legendary, but every village turns on the charm in December. First, discover the history behind the santons (little saints). Then, begin collecting figures for your Christmas creche at the Foire aux Santons in Marseille or Aix-en-Provence.

“Provence has its charms every season and winter is no exception. The festively decorated shops, the village Christmas markets and the soul-warming dishes you’ll prepare are guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.” ~Martine Bertin-Peterson

Christmas Traditions Santons Provence

Tour Details

What is included in the Taste of Provence for the Holidays tour?

• December 11 – 17, 2022
• 7 days/ 6 nights, fully escorted, all-inclusive from Avignon, multi-lingual guide
• Pick-up and transfer to and from Avignon TGV station
• Accommodations at an elegant boutique hotel
• Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily
• Travel by private vehicle throughout your trip
• Cooking classes, winery tours, tastings as per itinerary
• Entrance fees (museums, historic sites, et al.) as per itinerary
• No single supplements or hidden fees!
• Tips and Taxes
• Flexible booking terms

Click here for more details or to book your spot; please contact Martine.

Winter Recipes from Provence

Marseille Classic Bouillabaisse
A Bouillabaisse, to be served in perfect conditions, should be prepared for a party of at least 6 to 7. This allows the cook to purchase a wider variety of fish. You will have to be persevere to find all the different types of fresh Mediterranean fish. If you are far from the Mediterranean, use your local white fleshed fish. The recipe proposed here, consists in poaching the bigger fish into the small fish soup. It is the luxury version of the recipe, as it differs from the original fishermen who were simply recuperating the damaged and unsold parts. Follow the steps to create this a gastronomic recipe.
Check out this recipe
Marseille Classic Bouillabaisse
Daube à la Provençal
A slow cooked beef stew, the Provencal version of the more commonly known Boeuf Bourguignon is called Daube à la Provençal.
Check out this recipe
Daube Provencal #Recipe @CuriousProvence
Provencal Lamb Daube ‘Gui Gedda’
This slow-cooked daube is just the thing for cold winter nights. These wonderful aromas wafting through your kitchen as tender lamb cooks gently in a rich, savoury rose and herb-infused broth. And if you have the willpower not to eat it right away, it truly is best made a day in advance and then reheated upon serving.
Check out this recipe
Provencal Lamb Daube Gedda
Fougasse with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes
The combination of sweet cherry tomatoes and tangy black olives make this focaccia-style bread a stunning addition to any meal. You can even enjoy it on its own with some olive oil or accompanying some soup for a well-rounded and delicious meal.
Check out this recipe
Fougasse with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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